Issue 14 - February 2011

News from Rooibos Ltd - read all about:

Welcome to 2012! In this edition, Rooibos Ltd explains why it believes this will be a good year for the Rooibos industry. Also see the latest news on our processing line, international awards, exhibitions, new products, current research on the health properties of Rooibos and our community support projects. Tips and recipes are also included. Happy reading!

  • News
    What do current market conditions hold for 2012?
    It's About Quality: Upgrading Rooibos Ltd's Main Processing Line
    Producer of the Year Award and Other Achievements
    Hosting Exhibitions in Germany and China
    Increasing our Footprint in Sri Lanka, India and the Middle East
    Tetley Launches Rooibos with Rainforest Alliance Certification
    Boost for BOS brand
    Fair Cape Dairies' Yoghurts with Rooibos Win Innovation Awards in Italy
    Presentation on Rooibos - Jessica Viljoen

  • Personnel
    Long Service Awards at Rooibos Ltd: Sanna Swarts and Leah Boer
    New Appointments at Rooibos Ltd: Riana du Toit
    Enjoying a Well-deserved Year-end Function at Muisbosskerm
  • Upcoming Events
    Exhibitions Around the World
    Cederberg Arts Festival from 27 - 29 April 2012

  • Community Involvement
    Freshpak Fitness Festival
    Bandana Day

    Sponsoring Augburg's Netball Team
  • Cooking with Rooibos
    Grilled Crayfish with Rooibos Butter
    Rooibos 'Aqua' Martini

  • New Products
    TeeGschwender Launched a Rooibos African Chai in Germany
    Honey & Rooibos Snack Bar
    Inner Balance Herbal Tea
    Grape Pomegranate Drink with Resveratrol
    Rooibee Red Tea Co. Raises $1 Million
    Amila Ice Tea Launched in South Africa
    Rooibos Sweet Pepper Chutney Produced in Clanwilliam

  • Health
    New Study on Rooibos and Stress Hormones
    Research says Rooibos Beats Stress
    Why Rooibos is a Healthy Drink for Children
    Rooibos Contains Valuable Minerals and Anti-Oxidants
    Rooibos Comes Tops
    Rooibos and Kidney Disease

  • Tips
    Rooibos Q&As

    Write to us
    We'd like to hear from you, so please share your Rooibos stories with us at

What do current market conditions hold for 2012?

The world markets are still in economic turmoil and currency instability is going to cause Rooibos Ltd and its clients some discomfort. Supply and demand in the Rooibos industry has swung from oversupply to a situation of balance. This has led to farm gate prices increasing to a more sustainable level. All in all, people will still eat and drink, and tea remains the second cheapest drink after water. Read full article by Rooibos Ltd Managing Director, Martin Bergh.

It’s About Quality: Upgrading Rooibos Ltd’s Main Processing Line

According to Johan Cronjé, Operational Manager at Rooibos Ltd, most of the capacity problems have been sorted out. However, work on quality issues will never stop. Read article.

Producer of the Year Award and Other Achievements

Rooibos Ltd's Producer of the Year Award for 2011 went to Willie Nel from the farm Ysterfontein outside Clanwilliam. Willie Nieuwoudt from Uitsig was second. Deon Kotzé from Grootfontein received the Seedling Grower of the Year Award, while the HC Ginsberg Floating Trophy for the Best Rooibos Sample went to Rheboksfontein Trust. The Clanwilliam Tea Co-op Floating Trophy for second place went to Willie and Braam Marais from Oudam near Citrusdal. The Citrusdal Co-operative Drying Yard Limited Floating Trophy for the third place went to Quispberg Boerdery Ltd in the Nieuwoudtville area. Rooibos Ltd’s Managing Director, Martin Bergh, commended them on their achievements.

Captions: LEFT: Johan Brand (Technical Manager Rooibos Ltd), Sonell and Willie Nel (Producer of the Year), Hendrick Hendrikse (Manager on Ysterfontein the past 25 years) and James van Putten (former Managing Director Rooibos Ltd)
RIGHT: Johan Brand (Technical Manager Rooibos Ltd), Deon Kotzé (Seedling Grower of the Year), Sonell Nel and Dr. Sandra Lamprecht (Specialist Scientist at the Plant Protection Research Institute of The Agricultural Research Council)

Hosting Exhibitions in Germany and China

Rooibos Ltd made good contacts at its first-ever exhibition at the ANUGA expo in Cologne in Germany from 8 to 12 October 2011. Says Rooibos Ltd’s Communication Manager, Gerda de Wet: “It was a huge success with many visitors, including clients and potential clients. We promoted Rooibos raw material, contract packaging services and Rooibos Espresso pods – and we made good contacts.” ANUGA is the largest food and beverage fair in the world.


In November last year, Rooibos Ltd also hosted a highly successful exhibition at the FHC in Shanghai, China. The FHC China is China’s premier business event for the global food and hospitality sector.

Increasing our Footprint in Sri Lanka, India and the Middle East

Rooibos Ltd’s Managing Director, Martin Bergh and Marketing Director, Arend Redelinghuys visited Sri Lanka in October 2011 to extend the company’s partnership with Finlays Sri Lanka. With representation in Sri Lanka, Rooibos Ltd can provide a better service into Sri Lanka, India and the Middle East.

LEFT: Romesh Croos Moraes, Executive Director of Finlays Colombo PLC with Martin Bergh, Managing Director of Rooibos Ltd
MIDDLE: Arend Redelinghuys, Marketing Director of Rooibos Ltd with Tharanga Cooray, Rooibos Ltd’s representative in Sri Lanka
RIGHT: Martin Bergh of Rooibos Ltd with Chamath Hettiarachchi of Millenium Teas in Sri Lanka

Tetley Launches Rooibos with Rainforest Alliance Certification

Tetley has rolled out its first Rainforest Alliance-certified Rooibos in the UK and Europe towards the end of last year. According to Tetley, this “marks a major milestone on our journey to becoming a more sustainable brand”. In addition, this commitment means that the number of cups of tea from Rainforest Alliance-certified farms will increase to circa 100 million in the UK. Read more.

Boost for BOS brand

South Africa ice-tea brand BOS has received a boost with the news that Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed a 10% personal investment in the brand. All the BOS ice-teas contain Rooibos. Read more.

Fair Cape Dairies’ Yoghurts with Rooibos Win Innovation Awards in Italy

South Africa’s Fair Cape Dairies was honoured at the International Dairy Innovation Awards in Italy last year. Fair Cape’s Rooiboost Rooibos drinking yoghurt shots won the World's Best New Dairy Drink Award and its Rooibos Yoghurt was singled out as the World's Best New Functional Dairy Product. Read more.

Presentation on Rooibos – Jessica Viljoen

Jessica Viljoen, youngest daughter of Judith Viljoen, responsible for Sales Support and Client Liaison in Rooibos Ltd’s office in Europe, chose Rooibos as the theme of a class presentation at her school. This allowed her to inform children about the health properties of Rooibos.

Long Service Awards at Rooibos Ltd: Sanna Swarts and Leah Boer

Rooibos Ltd recently gave Long Service Awards to two loyal employees: Sanna Swarts for 40 years of service and Leah Boer for 25 years of service.

On 12 January 1972, Sanna started working for Rooibos Ltd as a junior in the Packaging Department. Over 40 years with us, she has seen many changes in the Rooibos industry. She served under four managing directors and she saw Rooibos grow from a humble beginning to a sought-after product enjoyed around the world. Today, Sanna is a multi-skilled operator in the Packaging Plant, adding value on the entire range of packaging machines. Sanna is married to Arrie and they have two sons, Sean and André, and two grandchildren. Says Rooibos Ltd: “We would like to congratulate Sanna on this special achievement and convey our sincere gratitude for her loyalty, support and friendliness. We trust that we shall be able to report on Sanna’s 45-year award in five years’ time.”

LEFT: Sanna Swarts, Jaco van Zyl (Packaging Manager) and Shirley-Ann van Rooyen (Supervisor)
RIGHT: Danny September (Supervisor), Leah Boer and Johan Conjé (Operational Manager)

New Appointments at Rooibos Ltd: Riana du Toit

The new Public Relations Officer at Rooibos Ltd is Riana du Toit. She speaks two European languages and has worked abroad for six years. She has also managed a retail shop for almost three years. Says Riana: “I’m a people’s person – I love meeting new people and I look forward to applying my skills to the benefit of Rooibos Ltd.” She has two children, Klari (10) and Joe (8).

Enjoying a Well-deserved Year-end Function at Muisbosskerm

On 15 December 2011, all staff members of Rooibos Ltd attended a function at the Muisbosskerm in Lamberts Bay. This was organised to show appreciation for the year’s hard work and effort.

Exhibitions Around the World

Rooibos Ltd will host stands at the following exhibitions to enlarge its distribution network and raise awareness of Rooibos.

  • The World Organic Trade Fair Biofach in Nürnberg, Germany, from 15 to 18 February 2012
  • The world’s largest annual food and hospitality show Gulfood in Dubai, UAE, from 19 to 22 February 2012
  • The international food and beverage exhibition Foodex in Chiba City, Japan, from 6 to 9 March 2012
  • The natural, organic and healthy products trade show Natural Expo West in Anaheim, USA, from 8 to 11 March
  • The No 1 buying and selling trade show for the global coffee and tea community Tea & Coffee World Cup in Vienna, Austria, from 25 to 27 March 2012

Cederberg Arts Festival from 27 to 29 April 2012

Rooibos Ltd will once again be a main sponsor of the annual Cederberg Arts Festival in Clanwilliam from 27 to 29 April this year. The purpose of this event is to bring the arts to the community. Click here for more details.

Freshpak Fitness Festival

Rooibos Ltd contributed to the success of the 25th Freshpak Fitness Festival held in Clanwilliam in October last year. The brand ambassador for the event, TV presenter and model Liezel van der Westhuizen, also took part in this multisport festival along with hundreds of cyclists, runners and swimmers. See more

Liezel van der Westhuizen also ran a competition on the Freshpak Facebook page where a Facebook fan could win a wellness session with Liezel, fitness expert Lucas Methjane and professional dietician Jordana Smith. The winner was Michelle Hufkie. Michelle’s prize included a sumptuous health breakfast at the Mount Nelson Hotel with Liezel.

Bandana Day

Rooibos Ltd supported the Sunflower Foundation and Bandana Day in October 2011. Staff members supported the initiative by wearing bandanas to work to help encourage people to become bone donors. Find more details

Sponsoring Augsburg’s Netball Team

Donning tracksuits sponsored by Rooibos Ltd, the first netball team of Augsburg Agricultural Gymnasium in Clanwilliam is ready to score points.


Grilled Crayfish with Rooibos Butter
Morné Botha

250 ml white wine
250 ml strong Rooibos
2 sprigs thyme
125 ml flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 red onion, finely chopped
500 g (550 ml) butter, softened
juice and zest of 2 lemons
juice and zest of 2 oranges
15 ml paprika
80 ml brandy
100 g Dijon mustard
3 egg yolks
4 x 800 g live crayfish, placed in the freezer for about 1 hour to stun them, and to make handling easier
freshly ground black pepper
olive oil

1. To make the butter, place the white wine, Rooibos and thyme in a saucepan. Reduce over high heat till about 45 ml remains and the mixture is syrupy in consistency. Leave to cool, then remove the thyme and transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
2. Add the parsley, garlic and red onion. Stir to combine.
Place the softened butter into the bowl and mix in with an electric mixer.
Fold in the juice and zest of the lemons and oranges. Mix in the paprika, brandy and mustard.
3. Beat in the egg yolks. Divide the mixture into three and roll into logs.
Wrap each log in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm.
4. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Place the crayfish in the boiling water and cook for about 3 minutes. Turn off the heat, leaving the crayfish in the water for a further 3 minutes. Remove the crayfish and allow to drain. Refresh in iced water.
5. Break off the heads of the crayfish. Use the heads to make stock.
6. Slice the tails into 2 to 3 cm slices (medallions) with a heavy knife. Season to taste. 

7. Brush the medallions with olive oil and chargrill on a hot grill for about 2 minutes on each side.
8. Slice the butter logs thinly and place a slice on each crayfish medallion.
Serve when the butter starts melting.

Serves 4


Rooibos ‘Aqua’ Martini
Luke Dale-Roberts

1 shot (25 ml) Cinzano Rosso
crushed ice
1 shot (25 ml) Van der Hum or orange liqueur
4 shots (100 ml) cold, strong Rooibos
½ shot (12 ml) Grand Marnier
twist of lemon

1. Pour the Cinzano into a cocktail shaker, add the ice and shake to mix.
Add the liqueur, Rooibos and Grand Marnier and shake.
2. Pour into Martini glasses. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Serves 2 to 3

TeeGschwendner Launched a Rooibos African Chai in Germany

Rooibos Ltd client TeeGschwendner from Germany introduced an Indian classic, namely Chai tea, made with South African Rooibos. The spicy-sweet taste, like the original Chai, is particularly flavourful with hot milk and a little sugar. Read more.


Honey and Rooibos Snack Bar

Tiger Food Brands has launched a Slim Slab Honey and Rooibos snack bar endorsed by Weight Less South Africa – the ideal snack for those who would like to combine taste with low kilojoules and healthy ingredients. Read more.

Inner Balance Herbal Tea

Teekanne offers 100% natural Inner Balance Herbal Tea with calming Rooibos, lemon balm, lavender and hops to offer support during stressful times. It also contains refreshing peppermint and lemon myrtle, and sweet blackberry for harmony. Read more.

Grape Pomegranate Drink with Resveratrol

The USA company Cellutions has re-launched its Modjo for Life Grape Pomegranate Drink with Rooibos and the powerful antioxidant resveratrol. This heart healthy beverage is said to replenish, protect, hydrate and help to eradicate free radicals responsible for the signs of aging and fatigue. Read more.

Rooibee Red Tea Co. Raises $1 million

In December 2011, the Rooibee Red Tea company in Louisville in Kentucky, USA, issued a total of $1 million in Series A preferred stock. This financing will allow the company to accelerate market expansion. The company produces a full line of bottled Rooibos beverages, which includes its award-winning Rooibee Red Tea Watermelon Mint drink. Read more.

Amila Ice Tea Launched in South Africa

Food company Promasidor recently launched three great-tasting Amila ice teas in South Africa – Rooibos, Lemon and Peach. These ice teas are colourant-free, caffeine-free and rich in antioxidants. Read more.

Rooibos Sweet Pepper Chutney Produced in Clanwilliam

In 2010, Helgard and Charné Smit bought a smallholding outside Clanwilliam and started to grow sweet peppers. After taking their best produce to the market and local restaurants, they were left with peppers that had marks on them but could still be used. This is when Charné started to experiment with recipes and combinations. The outcome is their popular Rooibos Sweet Pepper Chutney. What started out as a way to process surplus peppers turned into a highly successful initiative providing employment to 12 women from the local community. This product is available at Rooibos Ltd's factory shop (Contact Riana:


New study on Rooibos and Stress Hormones

This study demonstrates that Rooibos, aspalathin and nothofagin influence steroid hormone biosynthesis to help alleviate the negative effects of elevated levels of the stress hormone glucocorticoid. This article was published in the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Read more.

Research says Rooibos Beats Stress

Researchers from Stellenbosch University have discovered scientific evidence that Rooibos contains compounds that can help to alleviate anxiety and stress. Read more.

Why Rooibos is a Healthy Drink for Children

Even though it is commonly referred to as a tea, Rooibos is actually and herb (Aspalathus linearis), which is indigenous to the Cederberg mountains of South Africa. Read more.

Rooibos Contains Valuable Minerals and Anti-oxidants

 “The health properties of Rooibos tea are ascribed mainly to the low tannin content, the high levels of minerals and the free-radicals”, says this article in interactive magazine Zimbio. Read more.

Rooibos Comes Tops

Rooibos has the very real potential of overtaking green tea in its medicinal value. Read more to find out why.

Rooibos and Kidney Disease

Although the use of Rooibos to specifically address kidney dysfunction is not documented, it is believed that the antioxidant activity of the compounds in Rooibos may inspire some individuals to drink the tea as a general health beverage. However, an article published in the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine newsletter in 2007, notes that Rooibos is beneficial for people prone to kidney stones because it is free of oxalic acid. Read more.

Rooibos Q&A's

What effect does Rooibos have on your teeth? Do you brew tea or do you let it steep? What effect does Rooibos have on iron absorption? Click here for answers to these and other questions.